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By Ethan Wolff-Mann
June 9, 2016
Simon Dawson—Bloomberg/Getty Images

There’s an old saying about certain European luxury cars, that if you want to buy one, you need to be able to buy two because the maintenance will double your outlay. Sporty luxury cars can be fussy, and their parts and labor aren’t cheap.

But what does it cost, really?

Writing for Jalopnik, Doug DeMuro laid out his experience owning a used Aston Martin Vantage V8. He bought the car for the relatively accessible price of $45,000 (2007 MSRP was around $126,000), and tested once and for all whether the old adage is purely theoretical. While DeMuro didn’t shell out an additional $45,o00, he learned that an Aston Martin is going to be expensive no matter what.

 

The first month of ownership proved problematic, something that DeMuro attributes to the car having sat on the dealer’s lot for seven months. Thanks to the foresight of a $3,800 certified pre-owned warranty, he didn’t have to pay $5,498 worth of repairs that included a major timing issue.

After the break-in period, the roads weren’t so bumpy, but every year means a $1,400 service, with a $3,000 service every few years. And the gas milage wasn’t that good.

It’s a little early to tell how DeMuro’s Aston Martin will stack up against other cars, but Priceonomics crunched the data from YourMechanic, an online mechanic provider, to give the matter some perspective. Here are 30 major brands by 10-year estimated maintenance costs. The precise size of the data set is unknown, but YourMechanic calls it “massive.”

Rank Brand Cost
1 BMW $17,800
2 Mercedes-Benz $12,900
3 Cadillac $12,500
4 Volvo $12,500
5 Audi $12,400
6 Saturn $12,400
7 Mercury $12,000
8 Pontiac $11,800
9 Chrysler $10,600
10 Dodge $10,600
11 Acura $9,800
12 Infiniti $9,300
13 Ford $9,100
14 Kia $8,800
15 Land Rover $8,800
16 Chevrolet $8,800
17 Buick $8,600
18 Jeep $8,300
19 Subaru $8,200
20 Hyundai $8,200
21 GMC $7,800
22 Volkswagen $7,800
23 Nissan $7,600
24 Mazda $7,500
25 Mini $7,500
26 Mitsubishi $7,400
27 Honda $7,200
28 Lexus $7,000
29 Scion $6,400
30 Toyota $5,500

Interestingly, Lexus—a luxury brand—is at the bottom with its manufacturer’s less-expensive brand, Toyota. On the other hand, the Honda/Acura and Volkwagen/Audi pairings are further apart—especially in the German automaker’s case. Check out the list and other data on common car issues on the Priceonomics’ blog.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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